In solidarity with the French people and all people

Looking for solutions to hatred

There’s little that can be said about the tragic terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015 which killed over 130 people — little which is not obvious or hasn’t already been said.

Over the long course of human history, these problems of strife will be solved through insight, tolerance, and love, but in the meantime we need to keep from killing each other.

In my own study of hate groups, I’ve been influenced by Matthew Johnson, who identifies some elements which hate groups have in common: They “otherize” and “dehumanize” those with whom they disagree, to the point where all human empathy has been suppressed and replaced with blind hatred. They create (and constantly reinforce) a narrative in which the Other is responsible for the loss of the group’s proper place in the world at some time in the past, persisting into the present.

On a core level, the solution to these problems is empathy and love, and how to unblock them. This is true irrespective of the different political or religious ideologies which may divide people. Continue reading